I get it, just reading the title of this blog made your head itch, but I’m here to tell you the reality of the situation; lice happens, and it's not the end of the world. The best thing you can do is educate yourself about it to help prevent, spot and treat it. Hopefully this blog will do just that, along with making you laugh, because why would I even write a blog if it wasn't full of hilarious zingers?
Lice (Head louse) is a wingless parasitic bug that lives on the head of humans and feeds off of the blood from the scalp. It will generally be found in warmer areas of the head with lots of hair (behind the ears, back of the neck) and close to the scalp. Lice comes in two forms, nits and nymphs. Nits (the eggs) are laid on the hair shaft of hair, and are basically super glued to to the hair. They are clear/white/yellowish, smaller than a sesame seed and are often mistaken for dandruff as they look a lot alike. When looking for lice, always keep your eyes open for nits, these pesky lil guys are the number one reason it comes back, if you miss just one, bam, you're back to square one. The second form of lice is the hatched bug itself, also known as nymphs, although it sounds sexy, they're not, as they are bugs, and bugs are notoriously not sexy. Nymphs are also super small, sesame seed small and can be either clear, grey, tan or brown depending on when they last fed on some human blood. When not draining your life force, lice can only survive off of the human body for up to 48 hours as they no longer have blood to drink. That's right, they need human blood to survive, so without a human to freeload off of, they die (kind of like my ex, Hey yo!). Oh, and when they feed on your scalp, they bite the skin which often causes itching, making common sign of lice an itchy scalp/a furiously head scratching child.
There are a few things you should know about lice to help stop the pandemonium and common misconceptions.
-First off, lice does not discriminate, it's an "equal opportunity" parasite (the liberal hippy of bugs), it does not choose "unclean" or unhygienic people, it just chooses whoever is close, regardless of washing routines.
-Lice only affects humans, this means you can't give it to your dog, cat, grizzly bear, snake or whatever other household pets you may have roaming around.
-They can't jump, fly, bungee, or catapult off of hair, they can only crawl. This is why children get it more often than adults, as kids are weird and tend to rub their heads together, where as adults tend to hate affection and head butting.
Generally kids are the number one target for lice. If your kid gets lice, it’s not because you’re a bad parent, it’s because they’re a kid that attends a school/daycare/birthday parties with other kids and/or has friends. Basically, your kid got lice because they’re popular. So maybe if you were a bad parent, taught your kid to be anti-social, locked them in the basement and never let them leave, this wouldn’t have happened, but you’d also be raising a serial killer. It’s your choice, either raise the next Ted Bundy or accept that your kid may get lice and it's not the end of the world.
Saying the word "lice" out loud in a salon is a huge taboo. It’s thought to cause widespread panic and destroy a salon’s reputation. A salons main business is hair, so what should be a surprise to almost no one, is that salons will sometimes have clients come in with lice. Every stylist is thoroughly trained how to spot lice from a mile away. As soon as the stylist spots lice, the service ends/does not begin. After the client is discretely informed they have lice (and not shamed for it) a massive disinfection process takes place. This takes about an hour of hard scrubbing, disinfecting and gathering anything within a mile radius that could have been in contact with the affected hair and sealing it away. Granted it’s probably overkill but this way we can guarantee that no one else in the shop will get lice. Although lice happens, we don’t often have to deal with it in the salon, so it’s not as if this is a daily ordeal. You don’t have to be concerned about it.
Treating head lice properly is the key to making sure it never returns. For now, i'll just go through the basics, if you want more in depth information, scroll to the bottom for some handy dandy links. Basically, here's the routine; get a lice treatment kit from your local pharmacy (or do the natural root, you do you), get a lice comb, and nit pick the affected hair. However, It doesn't stop at treating the hair, you need to clean household items that may have come into contact with the hair, but because lice can't jump or fly, you don't need to burn your house down, you only need to disinfect anything that comes in direct contact with the hair, such as bedding, hats, scarves and towels. Be meticulous with these two steps, check daily for lice, clean bedding daily, and keep up this routine for about 14 days after the initial infection. Lastly, tell anyone that has been in contact with the affected head of lice so that they can check and prevent further spreading of it. If the idea of touching lice or having to deal with the removal of it terrifies you, you can always call the amazing lice squad, they will come right to your house and help you out. They’re like the ghostbusters, but for lice.
And now you know, lice happens, it’s not the end of the world, just make sure you take the proper steps to get rid of it and keep it gone for good. The end.
Here are those handy dandy links I promised you on how to treat lice.